Articles Posted in Discrimination

There are several different types of unlawful conduct that may be asserted in an Atlanta employment discrimination lawsuit: Sex discrimination, race or color discrimination, age discrimination, national origin discrimination, religious discrimination, and/or disability discrimination.

As with other types of civil cases, the plaintiff has the burden of proving his or her case by a preponderance of the evidence. This is not always an easy task, given that an employer accused of wrongful conduct will often fight extremely hard against a finding of employment discrimination, so as to discourage other employees from also taking legal action.

Facts of the Case

In a recent case, the plaintiff was a woman who worked for the defendant county for approximately 20 years before applying for a construction director position in 2013 (her job at the time was “Planner III,” which involved coordinating the work of contractors, managing projects, and handling associated paperwork.) The defendant division director was responsible for interviewing candidates for the construction director position and making a recommendation to his supervisor. The plaintiff, along with several others, applied for the job and went through the interview process, but she was not offered the position. Rather, the job was offered to a male who had interviewed for the job, and, when he declined the offer, an offer was made to another male who did not interview for the position (the director knew this individual through other projects). After the second male also turned down the job, the spot was left open.
Continue reading ›

In an Atlanta employment discrimination case, the burden of proof rests on the plaintiff. In order to succeed at trial, the plaintiff must be able to prove each and every element of his or her case. Of course, the defendant in such a case is often quick to seek dismissal of the plaintiff’s lawsuit, sometimes before the discovery process has even begun. In some situations, dismissal of a particular complaint is warranted, but, more often, it is not.

Facts of the Case

In a recent employment discrimination case filed in federal court, the plaintiff was an African-American woman who began working for the defendant college in 2017. According to the plaintiff’s complaint, she was bullied at work and subjected to a hostile work environment. Approximately six weeks after she began her employment, the defendant terminated the plaintiff, allegedly verbally telling her that she was “just not a good fit” and then mailing her a letter stating that her discharge was due to her “failure to perform job duties as assigned.”

Thereafter, the plaintiff filed a charge with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, asserting claims of race discrimination, retaliation, bullying, and harassment by a co-worker. Presumably after that proceeding had been completed, the plaintiff filed suit against the defendant in federal court, asserting similar claims. The defendant filed a motion to dismiss the plaintiff’s complaint.
Continue reading ›

As seasoned Atlanta employment discrimination attorneys, we struggle to understand why anyone would choose to represent himself or herself in a lawsuit against a current or former employer. Perhaps, those who make such a dangerous and dubious decision do so because they simply do not know what they do not know.

Attorneys have many years of formal education and training regarding the thousands of statutes, ordinances, regulations, and court rules that could potentially apply to a given case, and they work very hard to stay current, as these laws are constantly changing and being reinterpreted by the courts.

A person who chooses to represent his or her own interests in state or federal employment law litigation is expected to know, understand, and apply the applicable legal principles in the same manner as would an attorney with years of experience in the field. Not surprisingly, most pro se cases end up being dismissed, often on procedural grounds.

Continue reading ›

When it comes to legal matters, such as an Atlanta employment discrimination lawsuit, time is of the essence. When a claim is not filed within the time allowed by law, it will, in all likelihood, be dismissed by the court.

While there are a limited number of circumstances in which an exception may be made, such cases are few and far between. If you believe that you have a possible claim of employment discrimination, it is very important that you contact an attorney who can help you with your claim so that you do not lose the right to seek legal redress from your employer (or former employer, potential employer, etc.).

Facts of the Case

In a recent case, the plaintiff was a former employee of the defendant hospital. In his employment discrimination lawsuit, the plaintiff alleged that he had been subjected to discrimination because of his race and his age. He sought legal redress under both Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, 42 U.S.C. §§ 2000e to 2000e-17 (Title VII), and the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967, 29 U.S.C. §§ 621 to 634 (ADEA). The defendant filed a motion to dismiss the plaintiff’s cause of action because he had not alleged that he filed suit within 90 days after receiving his right-to-sue letter from the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC).

Continue reading ›

There are certain types of discrimination that are unlawful in the workplace. This includes discrimination based upon gender, age, and race, as well as discrimination against someone simply because she is pregnant.

An Atlanta employment discrimination lawsuit is one way for an employee to seek money damages and other legal remedies in such a situation.

Of course, not every such claim is successful. In some cases, the employer may offer proof of a nondiscriminatory reason for an adverse employment decision that impacted the employee, in which case it is typically up to the jury to decide which party’s version of events is more credible.

Continue reading ›

An Atlanta employment discrimination case can be complex, with multiple allegations and several different theories of recovery.

For example, a worker may allege that he or she has been treated in a way that runs afoul of state or federal anti-discrimination laws.

The employee may further allege a claim for retaliation if he or she reported the initial act of discrimination and, thereafter, was the victim of adverse employment action (such as being passed over for a promotion) as a result.

Continue reading ›

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) sued a Tennessee staffing agency and an international recycling company with a facility in Tennessee over alleged violations of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).

The action was based on the defendants’ treatment of a deaf employee. The plaintiff sought temporary employment through the staffing agency and was assigned to work at the recycling center. However, the plaintiff suffered from a hearing impairment disability, and once the defendants learned of the disability, the complaint alleges that the defendants informed her that she could no longer work there.

The ADA protects employees with a recognized disability from discrimination in the workplace. It is a federal law that applies to most employers with more than 15 employees in Tennessee, Georgia, and the rest of the United States.

Continue reading ›

A federal court in Georgia recently granted a summary judgment motion against an employee with an age discrimination lawsuit.

In Godwin v. WellStar Health System, Inc., Mary Godwin had been working as an order puller for WellStar Health Systems since 1999.  By 2003, she had been promoted to the position of Buyer in WellStar’s Purchasing Department.  Her duties included processing orders with outside vendors for goods made by WellStar’s different departments.  In 2009, WellStar hired a new Vice President of the Supply Chain, Tony Trupiano, whose job included overseeing the Purchasing Department.  Soon after, Godwin’s supervisor expressed concerns to Trupiano about Godwin’s performance, noting that she had made some errors with purchase orders.  Later that year, the supervisor conducted an evaluation of Godwin and found her to be “below expectations.”  Soon after, that supervisor left and a new one was hired, Ken Tifft.  Tifft read the former supervisor’s comments on Godwin, but thought they lacked documentation, and thus approved a merit pay increase for Godwin.  However, Tifft would later come to share the view that Godwin was performing “below expectations.”

In September 2010, Godwin was placed on a 90-day performance improvement plan, with follow-up consultations after 30 and 60 days.  Each time, her supervisor noted improvement, but also continued concerns.  Godwin was eventually placed on a second 90-day plan in February 2011.  Later that month, Godwin provided her supervisor with a letter from her doctor stating that due to her arthritis, she needed to move around every hour.  Her supervisor responded that Godwin needed to remain visible in the Purchasing Department, which was large enough to walk through.  However, Godwin, then 63 years old, complained to the Human Resources Department that her supervisor’s comments were ageist and there was no accommodation of her need to walk.

Continue reading ›